Principal urges action on cuts
Changes to staff funding revealed in the budget could see Matamata Intermediate School lose up to five teachers.
The school receives staffing for technology specialist teachers – used for music, art, production, food, and materials technology – from the start of next year and this staffing allocation would be removed. Principal Marion Henriksen said there was no consultation from the Ministry of Education regarding the staffing cuts.
‘‘The first I, or any other intermediate principals, knew of this was after the budget announcement,’’ Ms Henriksen said.
It is not known how many teachers around the country would be affected but the Post Primary Teachers’ Association has calculated up to 1122 primary and intermediate school teachers would lose their jobs.
‘‘It is hard to believe that on the one hand there are increased demands to raise achievements in reading, writing and maths and yet, on the other hand, class sizes are increased and additional learning opportunities that so effectively support achievement, are slashed,’’ said Ms Henriksen.
‘‘We will be forced into choices at Matamata Intermediate in regards to our priority areas for teachers.’’
Education Minister Hekia Parata said the extra technology funding for year 7 and 8 students was an ‘‘historical anomaly’’ and would be re-allocated to benefit all students from years 2 to 10.
The funding formula was now more consistent, she said.
The Ministry of Education has since said it would be more diffi- cult for some intermediate schools to absorb the changes and a working party would be set up to look at the effect.
Ms Henriksen has voiced her concerns to MP Lindsay Tisch and is appealing to parents to ‘‘make their feelings known’’ to the MP and to Prime Minister John Key.
‘‘ If this is not overturned quickly then I believe intermediate schooling as we know it will be lost forever,’’ she said.